Irene Squizzato
Cordilleran Tours/First Nature Tours, Media Relations Specialist and Destination Expert

Originally from northern Italy, Irene has now been calling Portland home for the last 5 years. Here, she worked for a PR agency that specialized in strategic communications and branding for small-to-medium food and beverage artisans. As the senior account executive at Watershed Communications, she was lucky to work closely with great local and national distillers, chefs, brewers, cheesemongers, and winemakers. Thanks to that experience, she developed a wide roster of media contacts and influencers, like James-Beard award winner Paul Kahan, and book author Paul Greenberg.

Two years ago, she started working for a small boutique tour operator that focuses on crafting culturally-rich land trips for Universities' alumni, private clubs, non-profit organizations like Sierra Club, and travelers with an interest in going off the beaten path. She helped designing itineraries, assisted in setting up the logistics, managed B2B and B2C communications, and led tours in the peak of the season. Over the past few months, she has been leading media and trade FAM trips in the Pacific Northwest, expanding her network of international media contacts.

Work has brought Irene to focus on communication and tourism, nonetheless, her academic background is in political science and international relations. She graduated from the University of Pavia with a magna cum laude degree in "Economics and Politics of International Institutions". Her master's thesis presented the two faces of the debate concerning the adoption of GMOs in the African market. Looking back at her path, she realizes how the research was done to capture that debate, brought her to become more and more familiar with Carlo Petrini and Raj Patel's teaching and activism. They, together with other food policies advocates, have been fundamental in shaping Irene's adult consciousness, and her interest in working with Slow Food and Terra Madre.

Irene is excited to join the NLC and work on developing a culinary project that involves refugees and immigrants women.